Oil Steady on Muted Trading

Crude oil futures rose on Monday as firm global demand offset a strong dollar, although a holiday in the United States and much of Europe kept trading muted.  Front-month Brent crude LCOc1 gained 53 cents to $65.90 a barrel by 1750 GMT (01:50 p.m. EDT), after touching an intraday low of $64.72. U.S. crude CLc1 was up 8 cents at $59.80 a barrel.

The market drew support from figures showing strong demand across Asia and the United States.  “Global oil demand continues to surprise to the upside, with April data showing no signs of slowdown despite a pick-up in prices,” Energy Aspects said in a note.

Japan’s customs-cleared crude oil imports rose 9.1 percent year-on-year to 3.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, the Finance Ministry said.  In China, crude imports hit a record 7.4 million bpd last month, with healthy car sales countering a slowing economy.